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Philander Chase consoles his Eliza Chase on the death of her parents.
Philander Chase, Eliza Chase, death
Chase, Philander, "Letter to Eliza Chase" (1837). Philander Chase Letters. 1060.
Illinois, Peoria County
14 Miles from Peoria
Robinsnest Feb. 3 1837
My dear Daughter Eliza:
We were all deeply affected in reading our dear niece’s [christian] letter; written at your request conveying the melancholy tidings of the disease of your dear Parents. We were all gathered round the family alter last night when my dear Mary, at my desire, read Miss Child’s account of the threefold bereavement which God have seen fit to call your dear Widower heart to suffer. Seldom anything comes to pass which has excited more tender sympathy among us. Mrs. Russell, & Sarah her daughter, and the Rev. Samuel Chase, (the [?] of the writer of the letter,) my own Children, and above all my dear wife and myself [?] with painful attention to every word: and scarcely a moment has past since but we have reverted to the subject. We have pictured to our minds the visitation of a wise and mysterious Providence with all you have suffered; and and though[.] We mourn with you and pray for you: for now, more than ever, you will need support; wisdom to devise what is best and most for the glory of God and the good of your immortal souls to d[eath]; and grace to do it in the most acceptable manner: firmness to resist the evils and temptations that will be laid before you[;] to [?] you and your lovely daughters. Hitherto you have had under Providence, a Shield, in the integrity and hou[se] of your Parents, in their known hatred of sin and in the ability to defend you from its incroachments: but the shield is now withdrawn from you; and you must meet the Enemy yourself and grapple with him, ans it were, single handed. What need then is there for your falling on your knees continually to supplicate the aid of that Being who alone can support us in the day of Battle and ward off the strokes of the wicked! Deceived and [?] you will be if you depend on your own strength or suffer your children to do so. Our virtue must be based on Religion, the fear and love God as he hath manifested himself to be a Holy God in our Redemption by Jesus Christ our Lord or it will fail us in the day of trial. We must see how God hates sin by his having punished it in the sufferings of his Dear Son. We must see how he requireth us to hate sin by his having send his Holy Spirit “to work in us that which is well pleasing in his signs; purifying our hearts by faith in the blood of Jesus, in sanctifying our affections and making us fit to enjoy his presence. Such as this is the Christian’s virtue, as far beyond the morality of the worldly mind as the heaven are beyond the reach of more terrestrial beings. For this christian virtue let all your efforts be aimed: for grace to attain it & for grace to exercise it play without ceasing; to Him whose eye is continually fixed on use and whose ear is never deaf to our supplication.
That you have done so I doubt not: though I would wish to “stir up your [?] mind by way of remembrance:” especially at this time when the heart, like the soil, is moved by afflictions, and thus prepared to take in freely, the rain and the dews of God’s heavenly grace. O dear, dear Eliza! how infinitely merciful is God to make thus his heaviest afflictions channels of his dove and goodness to us! thus exemplifying the spiritual truth of that which to worldly minds is an inexplicable riddle-- that “out of the eater came forth meat; and out of the strong came forth sweetness!” Death devours us all yet being overcome by Him who hath the power of Death & hath given his body & his blood for the food of the soul, Jesus opens thro’ Death the door of life eternal. And the Corruption of the [Tomb] gives place to the “sweetness” of everlasting [b]lessedness.
Having spoken thus much to you my dear Daughter you will allow me to say something to my lovely Grand Daughters.
Precious Children of God, Lambs of the Fold of the Redeemer, what shall I speak in so short a space and so important a theme as that before us: the death of your dear Grand Parents who spent their life and strength in devising and procuring the things which should promote your happiness. As you love their memory let me entreat you to think of the heaven whither they have gone. Think of the door opened by your Blessed Redeemer through which they have been permitted to enter into rest. Think of the necessity obtaining that strong faith in a Saviour’s blood before your hopes can be built on any solid foundation. A faith which gives to the forms of our Religion their life & [?] faith which makes your baptismal obligation binding in your hearts and consciences-- which makes you as well as say that you “renounce the prompts and vanities of this wicked world and all the sinful [?] of the flesh & keep God; holy will and commandments all the days of your life.”
You see by this I do not call your attention to anything new and of my own invention: no I call on you to remember what God that already done for you and what you s’d be, and do, for his name’s sake. And that you should be hearty in what you say and do.. No “whited wall” and “garnished & pulchred” having purity without and corruption within, will God accept. He hath first loved you: & you must, by his grace, love him with all your heart, with all your mind soul and strength. You must trust in him: you must pray unto him without ceasing. If you find yourselves cold, and drawn off from his love lament your weakness; & go to him for strength for that [?] of affection which he requesteth. To this end read his word and often find yourself repeating the Psalms which are the gifts of God’s spirit to his Church for this very purpose. If you feel not the grace of God as yet [shed] abroad in your hearts: remember that it is high time it were: you are old enough to read and know God’s will and you have strength given you to know your own wretchedness without the saving grace of God to give you a lively sense of his mercy & hope of future glory. “Remember these (his words) thy Creator in the delays of thy youth.” Consecrate yourselves to your Redeemer: (as you have already been dedicated in baptism) consecrate yourselves to his service in holy Confirmation. Let this not, I pray you, be an idle, thoughtless thing, with you: Look to it a time when God has promised to meet & renew his Covenant with you; as Israel did at Horeb after [having] been “baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea.” If you be earnest with God in this, He will not deceive you but will fulfil all his promises unto partakers of his heavenly kingdom. Grant thus Father for Jesus [sake].
And now my dear daughter Eliza; I must bid you for the present farewell! My own infirmities admonish me as do loudly the death of your dear Parents that I have but a short time to live. I shall soon go whither they have gone: but I trust to go in hope. I know that my Redeemer liveth: and will also come again to raise our vile bodies from the dust & make them like unto his high [?] body. He will come and not tarry; and bring his reward with him not of our merit but of his precious sufferings. The Robe of his Righteousness bought by his blood, & prepared by his hand is ready in the Porch of His Heavenly temple. He himself will put this on us when we stand before him in judgment. All this is apprehended by the Faith. For this faith let us ever play. The promise is ask and ye shall have, see and ye shall find.
Hoping soon to receive a letter from under your own dear hand I am most truly your loving Father Philander Chase